more GCR news (Leicester Museum project)

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by scott118, 19 Sep 2016.

  1. mushroomchow

    mushroomchow Member

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    Maybe we ought to send Richard's bones to Wensleydale after all - it might boost the railway's visitor numbers. ;)
     
  2. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Established Member

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    I for one am really excited that a project like this is even happening.
     
  3. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    Well it would have happened if the HLF had kept the funding in place....
    I do wonder if the change of CEO from Andrew Munroe (with architects background/contacts) to Mr Gough (engineering background) has had anything to do with the HLF decision? The chosen architects and main contractors were both well versed in HLF projects and have international reputations. The City Council seemed firmly in favour of the project and were to be very involved in the management. It is very puzzling....
    Still, when the dust settles, perhaps a way forward will be found without the HLF.
     
  4. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Established Member

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    Are you saying the project is cancelled?
     
  5. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    Now that the "Floating Boxes" existing scheme has been effectively stopped. The desire and reasons for a museum still exist - could a cheaper design be adopted along the lines of a rectangular two story building alongside the line of the Leicester North East stub platform (this to be extended for 5/6 coach lengths). The South end be largely glazed and a first floor cafe area. The width suitable for two tracks, wide central walkway, two tracks. (Echoing the Marylebone layout). The walls simple insulated steel cladding with transparent sections (double glazed tinted glass). It would be longer than the Wilkinson design but slightly narrower. The North wall glazed with opening door sections for access
    The roof made of flat lengthwise sections but built up into an arch profile with a "sawtooth" lateral profile made up of South facing PV panels and vertical "North light" glazed panels - this providing lots of useful (saleable) electricity (with battery storage), rainwater harvesting etc. However the roof would be much wider and overlap the Leicester North (New) East platform and middle road - simple pillars between the two tracks, for support of the roof overhang. A mirroring of this overhang on the East side of the building which could cover two outer tracks used for display purposes - or possible wagon/coach renovation display area?
    The first floor would extended around the sides to provide viewing/display areas, with lift/stair access, offices etc.
    Thus the building should be much cheaper, based upon industrial building sections/designs. The museum exhibits would be in a shaded, protected environment with more useful outside areas integrated but not intruding on Leicester North. The "Flying Roof" would still provide a "Wow" factor - especially when lit at night. The view from the cafe would be over the museum in one direction and across Leicester in the other.
    I'm sure others on here could sketch this out or come up with other ideas. After the blow from the HLF, we need to go "Forward".... as the GCR motto says.....
     
  6. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    There is a 2 page article in this month's "Steam Railway" (#475) about the HLF decision. It does confirm that the other three partners - NRM, LCC and GCR intend to proceed with the museum according to "Plan B". So I think this aspect of GCR news is not going to stop, but may well evolve into a different, more modest in cost, scheme.
     
  7. mushroomchow

    mushroomchow Member

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    If there's one silver lining to all this, it may be an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and do away with the insistence on a "contemporary" building for the museum at the very least. There was only one of the six shortlisted designs which I thought was acceptable, but that didn't include a turntable which is key for operations. If it all falls through, the site is at least perfect for a compact terminus - some gorgeous designs with overall roofs were bandied around in the station's early days when the double track project was underway, but they seem to have been abandoned in favour of the rather crap modern designs we've seen. I've come to accept the importance of the museum, but the one thing that most bothered me about the whole project was the air of the station itself becoming a mere sideshow, rather than the focal point of the centre.

    However, working in the public sector and knowing what setbacks like this normally mean to any publicly-funded project, there's a fairly large pragmatic part of me saying that it's simply not going to happen now. Profits are king, and there simply isn't the capital or third party funding available to the GCR to justify it at the moment, especially not with the rather massive job of bridging the gap still to contend with and in the process of fundraising. At the very best, it will be the next fundraising project when that is finished, but that will itself have to contend with a new shed for Loughborough, further trackworks at Swithland and getting the northern section properly signalled and up to standard as well. I can't fathom how there'd be shovels on the ground for a scheme which the HLF claim the GCR "doesn't need to survive" until the 2030s at least without the fund's money.

    I actually visited Leicester North yesterday, because I happened to pass while the Jinty was in. It's a strange bubble of a station - almost arboreal, and certainly a world away from the rest of the GCR in terms of atmosphere. Not a bad atmosphere by any means, but it's clear that the entire single track section has been an afterthought since it was reopened in the 1990s - it feels like a time capsule to the early days of preservation. It needs investment, or at the very least instatement of double track to make it more important to the railway's wider operational capacity - but we now know that the latter is probably not happening any time soon unless the museum is built.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jan 2018
  8. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    Good summary there Mushroomchow, the Leicester North section was not quite an "afterthought" though, it had to be built quickly when Leicester were putting in the Northern by-pass/relief road, otherwise there would have been no overbridge built (which has space for two tracks) and no chance for the Southward extension from Rothley.
    I totally agree that the opportunity exists for a rethink about the design....but you can see my thoughts(post #65)! The existing station certainly should not be a sideshow - it will be the only NRM museum with a working railway directly on site bringing the exhibits on show alive!
    Whilst the fundraising for the Gap project is vital, I hope that the museum can progress (albeit at a much slower rate) and incrementally improve, as it will generate more income over the longer term for the railway.
     
  9. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    There was an interesting meeting at Loughborough this afternoon, with many of the volunteers who have done much of the preparation work for the museum exhibits and themes. A background to the HLF decision was given .... but no new information - unsurprisingly. There was a very strong feeling that people wanted to continue their activities in the hope that a museum would be created at Leicester North. It is hoped that the LCC/NRM/GCR would be able to work to that aim. A further meeting is planned for March/April to see if there is any progress.
     
  10. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    Well the March meeting has not happened, probably because Roger Shelley has left the GCR earlier than expected.

    Still there is good news in this month's "Steam Railway" #479 - A revised plan is being drawn up for a railway museum at the GCR Leicester North terminus. A new design is in it's early stages with Leicester City Council, a local architect and construction firm.
    Michael Gough (GCR MD) has said that the design would be "More in keeping with the railway, design-wise, and will cost a lot less"
    it is good to know that our musings on this forum are bearing fruit.....:rolleyes:
     
  11. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Well this is good, not what was originally planned but hopefully it can be built upon as the years progress.
     
  12. Kettledrum

    Kettledrum Member

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    This sounds really sensible and positive.
     
  13. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    Apparently there have been meetings with LCC and others about "Plan B" and there is a very good, positive, impression that something will happen...So- lots going on behind closed doors.
     
  14. mushroomchow

    mushroomchow Member

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    Excellent news. Look forward to seeing what is put forward.
     
  15. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    Work is still going on and apparently there are now plans drawn up, which have been costed, for "Plan B"......
     
  16. AndyY1951

    AndyY1951 Member

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    When will "Plan B" be made public?
     
  17. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    I think that the two councils (Leicester City and County) are doing a feasibility study, then we may see the results. There were two very good letters published in the last "Main Line" magazine, which strongly supported this proposal.
     
  18. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    As part of the end of WW1 commemoration, there were a lot of events taking place at Quorn station yard. The 04 had been towed from Loughborough shed and given a cosmetic "make-over". This provided a very effective back drop to the activities.

    DSCF8108.JPG
    Of course, this engine would be a prime exhibit in the museum along with ... "Butler Henderson" and "Green Arrow".....
     
    Last edited: 15 Nov 2018
  19. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    I notice that quite a lot of work has been going on at Swithland sidings. Space has been cleared to the North of the carriage shed. I assume the shed will be extended Northwards to store more coaching stock under cover. It is difficult to see this work because of the stock in long term storage in the two long sidings next to the Southbound passing loop line.
     
  20. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    A quick visit to L North saw that quite a lot of scrub and undergrowth clearance has taken place on the allotment side of the footpath all along where the L North station buildings are situated. DSCF8199.JPG
     
  21. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Whereabouts is that Phil?
    Is it to the north of the new bridge ?
     
  22. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Edit - sorry I thought it was the other thread. :oops:
     
  23. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    The new shed extension at Swithland Sidings is proceeding well, nearly all the concrete foundation pads are in the ground and so the steelwork for the framework should appear quite soon. It is four tracks wide and three coaches long, so 12 coaches undercover.
     
  24. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    The carriage shed extension is proceeding apace as over half of the steel framework has now been erected. DSCF8218.JPG

    Meanwhile, at Leicester North there is a small drilling rig boring the first of five holes to assess the soil conditions on the East side of the footpath, where there are the two "humps" alongside Leicester North station.
     
  25. Tom6143

    Tom6143 New Member

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    Great stuff. Any idea whats happening alongside Leicester North station?
     
  26. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    Hopefully this is the preliminary work for "Plan B" which will be a less extravagant railway museum alongside Leicester North station.....but we will have to wait and see.....
     
  27. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    The carriage shed extension has had more steel work erected - the smaller sections, that the cladding will be fixed to, are now largely in place between the main frames.
     
  28. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    DSCF8241.JPG The carriage shed extension had over half the roof in place yesterday when I looked through the hedge.
     
    Last edited: 13 Feb 2019
  29. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Established Member

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    Nearly all of the cladding has been attached on the carriage shed extension. Then the track will go in and soon the shed will be ready to store another 12 coaches under cover. DSCF8257.JPG
     
  30. Gus

    Gus Member

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    Well done to all concerned, you are doing a great job which will benefit the railway for many years to come.
     

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